The album starts off with the appropriately titled “New Beginning,” which has a slow symphonic build that gradually turns into a smooth, head-nodding, hi-hat beat. With a simple piano sample added to it, the opening track is a great table-setter.
The Latin-inspired “The Influence” follows that with Spanish guitars and sweeping, reverse key waves. A comfortable rhythm sets in with a dual-guitar approach and eventually, a little something for all the flute lovers out there.
On the instrumentally dominated album, only guests Nieve, CL and 49ers add words to Blazo’s reflections. “Heartbeat” kicks a flow reminiscent of “Kick, Push”-era Lupe Fiasco. Blazo brings a simple drum pattern and piano break beat into play for Nieve to get his backpack on. CL chimes in on “Notes,” a laid-back, early 2000-type beat that finds the guest kicking some optimistic bars. “When opportunity knocks, son, you best be ready. … Growing up’s a hard thing,” he says, to enlighten the youth from America to Poland. 49ers appear on two tracks: “Dock Ellis” and “Pressure.” The duo continues the theme of looking far beneath the surface, trading positive rhymes for horns and strings.
The rest of Reflections is a lot more of the same, never really breaking from the mold of simplistic inner examination. There are tracks such as “Metamorphosis” and title track “Reflections” that push the tempo a bit, but most fall into the soothing, laid-back category like “Improvise,” which incorporates a little Bollywood, and closing track “Rising.” Not that it’s a bad thing: the album feels like a long, relaxing hookah session, but there’s just not a lot of variation. If someone is looking for a solid collection of instrumentals to vibe out to, but also keep things on a level path, Reflections could be the answer.